Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holy, Holy, Holy

And while we're at it:  Clip from the film, Howl.  James Franco (as Allen Ginsberg) reading the footnote to the poem, “Howl”.  Simply breathtaking.

Father Death Blues

"Father Death Blues", by Allen Ginsberg.  I adore this.

Last Poems of Miklós Radnóti

Miklós Radnóti

I woke up thinking about Miklós Radnóti again this morning.  This happens every so often, though not as much as when I was completing my thesis on his last poems; his work has apparently seared itself into my psyche, and I guess there will always be a connection there.  Anyway, Miklós Radnóti, a Hungarian poet and translator, is considered to be one of the most important 20th-century poets of his country.  Radnóti was killed at the age of thirty-five on a forced march during World War II.  After the war, his last poems, written in a notebook during the march, were discovered on his body when he was exhumed from a mass grave near Abda, Hungary.  Here's an excerpt from "Eclogue VII", translated by Steven Polgár:
Without commas, one line touching the other
I write poems the way I live, in darkness,
blind, crossing the paper like a worm.
Flashlights, books - the guards took everything.
There’s no mail, only fog drifts over the barracks.
Haunting stuff, for sure.  You can read the rest of Radnóti's bio here:

Or, if you're interested, here's a link to my Master’s thesis, that I completed at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2007, analyzing the last poems:


Radnóti’s work has touched me more deeply than perhaps any other.  One day, I will make the journey to pay my respects at his grave in Budapest. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Part of Me is Dying

Link below to "25 Depressing Portraits of Closed Bookstores" on BuzzFeed.  Each photograph is like a knife through my heart.  Feeling a little desperate about the situation at this point...I mean, what's next?  Close all the art galleries and museums so we can only view art on the internet?  Well, here's to all the indie bookstores hanging in there~I hope they make it.

A Dark Star Passes Through It

Just HAD to share this brilliant poetry essay, "A 'Dark Star' Passes Through It",  written by Leslie Ullman, which was just republished by Numero Cinq (it originally appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Spring 2001).  A deeply worthy read for any serious reader or writer of poetry.  Click the link below~trust me, you won't want to miss this:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yellow Mama Acceptance

Just had three poems picked up by the slick Yellow Mama literary journal:  "Year of the Rabbit", "Among the Lilies", and "Pause" will appear in the 12/11, 2/12, and 4/12 issues, respectively.  Sweet!  I'll post the links as they become available over the next several months.

Cool name, you say?  I agree.  "Yellow Mama" was the nickname for the Alabama Kilby State Prison's (now retired) electric chair, which was painted bright yellow.  The lit journal's black and yellow scheme (which reminds me of a Yellow Jacket~baby's got some sting!), and the quality of work presented reflects this edginess.  Check 'em out:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coolest Bookstores and Libraries

Check out this link below to the coolest bookstores around the world.  I'm salivating, here.  One thing that really sucks about living in a small Chinese city is the lack of access to English language bookstores.  There's a big bookstore in town, with a small English-language section, but selection is extremely limited.  And yeah, I can order some books online, and if I'm lucky, actually receive them in the mail (not always the case!), but I miss spending an afternoon browsing among the stacks.  Nothing beats the feel of an actual book in the hands, I say, and I'll remain a purist until the day I die (no Kindles here!).  Anyway, follow the link to see these amazing bookstores~my favorite, Paris' Shakespeare & Company, is in here:

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

And while we're at it, here are two more links to the Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Parts 1 and 2.  The only one featured here that I've ever been in was at Trinity College in Dublin, where I saw the Book of Kells.  I'd love to visit these others, though:

Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Part 1:

Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Part 2:

I guess I should've been a librarian or bookshop clerk.  In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming of the day I get to walk into one of these gorgeous places, and lose myself, and all sense of time, among the storied stacks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dust in the Wind

Some recent literary journal closings:  The Literary Burlesque, Message in a Bottle, and Rusty Truck.  Rest in peace, guys~it was a fun ride while it lasted.  A lot of people don't realize all the work that goes into running online lit journals, which are often edited (unpaid) by writers with day jobs of their own, who come home to a mountain of submissions to sift through.  It's enough stress for me to avoid starting up my own journal, I'll tell you that, and I find it understandable when these sites close down.  I wish though, that the individual pieces appearing on the sites could be permanently archived online somehow, so our published work doesn't disappear, like so much dust in the wind, when a journal folds.  I've got a couple of broken links to fix now.  Kind of sad...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Negative Suck Acceptance

Link below to three poems in the September issue of Negative Suck.  Subjects:  menopause, adultery, and...monkeys.  Yeah, monkeys.  I really like this online lit journal, so I hope you check it out.  A big thanks to editor J. Callico!